Not Quite Hollywood
Director: Mark Hartley
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Ozploitation; a term I was regretfully unfamiliar with just a few years ago. Then this amazing, confounding, eye opening documentary was unleashed upon unsuspecting cinephiles and now despite still not having seen the majority of the films listed, it is a term that I spout as if I had heard it all my life.
Click through the jump for the full review.
'Not Quite Hollywood' documents the rise of the crazed, anything goes world of Aussie exploitation cinema that began in at the tail end of the '60s, just as the extreme censorship laws there were eased (or seemingly elimminated altogether) and lasted until the mid '80s. These genre films (most of which fit neatly into their U'S. 'Grindhouse' counterpart) include soft core sex films that are raunchier and filthier than anything produced here at the time, gross out comedies, ultragory (and ultra nasty) horror and death defying action epics complete with apparently inexperienced stuntmen who just went for it. In other words, a virtual treasure trove for the fan of cheap, cheesey exploitation cinema as the Aussies attacked these genres with a vigor that can stand toe to toe with those made anywhere else in the world.
Directed with a tremendous amount of flair by one Mark Hartley, the bio is broken down into chapters based on subject matter. The clips come fast and furious and they are accompanied by always interesting and in a few cases very revealing (comments made about Hong Kong legend Jimmy Wang Yu on the set of 'Man From Hong Kong' are eyebrow raising to say the least) interviews with the filmmakers as well as filmmaker/fans (with the ever present Quentin Tarantino leading the charge). For me, this now a whole new world of low budget, high energy exploitation cinema that I need to start tracking down. Among these, the infamous 'Turkey Shoot' (aka Escape 2000, not to be confused with the Italian film aka 'Escape From the Bronx' which was riffed on MST3K), the giant boar film, 'Razorback' (which I actually did see on video back in the 80s, but need to revisit), the 'Shining' influenced horror film, 'Next of Kin', 'Dead End Drive In' and especially, 'Long Weekend' which looks like an awesome 'nature strikes back at man' film, but where things may or may not be as they seem. Yep, I have some catching up to do...
I've watched 'Not Quite Hollywood' at least half a dozen times now. It's one of the best made and most purely enjoyable film docs I've ever seen and I've become a fan of director Hartley ever since. His followup doc. was the luridly titled, 'Machete Maidens Unleashed' which features Philippino exploitation fare of the '70s. While it comes up a tad short of Hartley's initial Aussie outing, it is still a plenty worthy watch. Hartley's upcoming third entry is to be, 'Electric Bugaloo, the Wild, Untold Story of Canon films'. Needless to say, I can't wait...
(FYI - the trailer is NSFW)